When the Hope4MENA team began exploring South Sudan and formed a Center in the capital city of Juba, we chose to begin serving in Kapoeta and specifically in the tribe of Toposa because it is the largest tribe in the area (7-8,000 inhabitants) and the most unreached with the Gospel. Weekly church services are held at the Center on Sundays, along with a second weekly service.
By the grace of God, we were also able to build a church in Toposa on land given to us by the tribal leader in Toposa! People would walk 3-4 hours to come to church. Seeing the need, we went on to “build” three other churches in different areas of need- but these were not typical church buildings- but rather an outdoor area where people gather to hear and see the Gospel preached, dramatized, and sung in the Toposa language. We also hold Sunday school classes for children, reaching at least 600 children ages 3-15 in different areas in Toposa with the Good News of the Gospel.
Among the many ministries that the Lord has allowed our team to begin in South Sudan is an Army Chaplains Ministry! With the help of Christian army chaplains, we are able to arrange for an annual evangelistic camp where as few as 200 and as many as 500 members of the army attend! Many come to know the Lord and their lives are forever transformed! As they leave, we give them Bibles and Christian books to take back home.
We have also formed an Evangelism Team that holds monthly meetings and two annual camps for training new evangelists. This team also leads weekly meetings in two new churches that we planted in Juba!
- “A boy was riding his bicycle from Kapoeta to another village, and he fell among robbers, who beat him and stole his bicycle. When the tribal leader heard, he had compassion. He went to him and bound his wounds, and brought him home and took care of him. He then was able to retrieve his bicycle from the robbers.” What does this story sound like? No, it is not a reenacting of the parable of the Good Samaritan, but an actual incident that took place in real life. The tribal leader “who had compassion” shared with our team that, being impacted by Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan that they had shared with him, decided to do likewise!
- Our team had all kinds of goals and dreams for the Toposa tribe. But the first time we went, we were kicked out. As we got into the car to leave, the tires gave way, so we had to get out of the car again. But as soon as we did, it rained. We were able to fix the tires and leave, but when we returned, they welcomed us. We didn’t quite understand what had changed, but would soon find out! Towards the end of our meeting, we asked them how we can pray for them. Without hesitation, they replied, “Rain! We’re dying of hunger and need rain for crops to survive.” They then shared that they accepted us this time because it rained the last time we were there (rain is symbolic of blessing). And then we prayed for more rain, and as soon as we did, it rained! Praise the Lord for His incredible providence!
- During our annual camp for Pastors, a pastor shared that he came to know the Lord while in prison through our Prison Ministry, and when he left jail, he felt called to become a pastor!